San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk Receives Praise From Bill Belichick

Kyle Juszczyk will be a player to watch on Sunday against the New England Patriots. (PHOTO COURTESY: Twitter)

By Matt Noonan

As many New England football fans know, Bill Belichick has a soft spot for certain positions and players, both past and present, including opposing members of teams his New England Patriots meet on a weekly basis.

When asked about a certain member of the San Francisco 49ers, who will be competing against the Patriots this weekend, Belichick responded with some positive and kind words about their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk, who played locally at Harvard University before being selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round of the 2013 National Football League (NFL) Draft.

Since becoming a professional football player, the former Crimson has recorded 186 catches for 1,722 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 111 yards on 28 carries and two scores in 112 contests. His best season as a pro occurred in 2015 when he hauled in a career-best 41 receptions for 321 yards and four touchdowns. He also moved the sticks 17 times.

While Juszczyk may not receive the same attention or recognition as his other teammates do like quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo or tight end George Kittle, he is certainly someone to watch every week, according to Belichick, who considers him a “versatile player,” but also one of the best fullbacks in the league.

“When he was with the Ravens, they used him in a lot of different ways and then San Francisco signed him to a big contract for a fullback,” Belichick said when addressing the media via Zoom this morning. “(He) certainly is the highest paid player at his position by quite a bit if I remember correctly, and he continues be used in a variety of ways.”

Belichick would continue by highlighting the various personnel the 49ers use when he is in the game, including 11, 12 and 21 personnel, before adding that the 49ers “use the fullback more than any other team in the league.”

“He’s been very productive for them,” said Belichick.

Through six games this season, Juszczyk has caught six of ten targets for 75 yards while rushing for 18 yards on three carries and one score. He is averaging close to two targets per game and one catch per contest while averaging 12.0 yards per reception.

Juszczyk will be the third Harvard alum Belichick and the Patriots will face this season – New England defeated Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins in the opening week by a score of 21-11 before falling to Tyler Ott and the Seattle Seahawks in week two.

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone!

As usual, I hope this blog post finds everyone doing well, staying safe, and smiling – how do we only have 11 days left of October?

Let’s kickstart the day with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime,’ beginning in “Big D” – that would be Dallas, Texas, to be exact – where Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals walloped the Dallas Cowboys last night by a score of 38-10.

As noted by many, the setback to the Cardinals was considered one of the Cowboys’ worst losses at AT&T Stadium – I am sure my buddy (and owner) Jerry Jones is not a happy man this morning. Jerry is probably not going to be smiling too much this season as the Cowboys – one of my two favorite National Football League (NFL) teams – is decimated by injuries and not playing well under first-year coach Mike McCarthy.

Should the Cowboys consider bringing back Jason Garrett?

Prior to Arizona handing Dallas its fourth loss of the season, football fans were treated to a late afternoon/early evening clash between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs won the game – no surprise, right? – and quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the fastest quarterback to throw not just 90 touchdowns, but also his 91st score in his 37th contest.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of like having two games on Monday. Maybe we could see this in the future?

Let’s switch to baseball where the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series will begin this evening between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. I am going to be rooting for the Rays despite a member of the Boston Globe thinking that baseball fans should not support the team from Tampa Bay.

Sticking with the Globe, we learned yesterday afternoon and this morning through the Sports Business Journal (SBJ)‘s daily podcast that the Boston Red Sox owners, along with their partners are planning a major ‘redevelopment’ project that would include offices apartments, retail stores, and possibly a hotel.

Finally, let’s end with some local media news where the Hartford Courant announced yesterday that they are closing their printing operations and will “outsource to the Springfield Republican” here in Massachusetts.

The Courant is the oldest newspaper in the country – it began in 1764 – and this move unfortunately will impact 151 employees.

Daily Noontime (Thursday, October 16, 2020)

 

By Matt Noonan

Welcome to Thursday, everyone! 

It’s quite chilly outside this morning. In fact, I almost ordered a hot coffee from Starbucks but chose a cold brew instead. Was that a bad decision? 

Let’s get to some news from the sports world, beginning with a recent update from the National Football League (NFL): The Atlanta Falcons are shutting down their facility due to “multiple positive tests.” 

What exactly does this mean? We’re unsure, but as of now, the Falcons are scheduled to meet the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, but that game could be postponed or canceled, so stay tuned. 

I am sorry to share not-so-good news (again!), but Nick Saban, who is the head coach of the University of Alabama‘s football team, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Additionally, Greg Byrne, who is the school’s athletic director, also tested positive, which means this weekend’s conference clash between the Tide and the University of Georgia could be postponed, but who knows? 

As we noted yesterday on our mid-afternoon ‘Daily Noontime,’ two Southeastern Conference (SEC) football games for this weekend have been postponed. According to this week’s schedule from ESPN.com (as of 9 a.m. this morning), three college football games have been postponed this week. Could we see a few more due to a recent uptick in coronavirus cases?  

Staying in the college athletic world, the NCAA‘s Division I Council voted yesterday to provide student-athletes that compete during the wintertime an extra year of eligibility. And according to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, those that play basketball or hockey would be able to return to campus next year even if they play one or two contests. 

The NCAA also unveiled 450 host sites for upcoming championships, including lacrosse, which will return to Gillette Stadium in 2025 and 2026

Here are some more news and links from the world wide web: 

Noontime’s NFL Power Rankings: Week Six (Oct. 14, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Five weeks of professional football are in the books, but it wasn’t easy. 

Also, what did you think about Tuesday Night Football? Did you know the last Tuesday evening game was played ten years ago between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles? Well, now you know! 

Alright, enough jibber-jabber, let’s unveil this week’s Noontime Power Rankings for the sixth week of the 2020 National Football League (NFL).

As usual, make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube – have a great day, everyone!  


Noontime’s Week Six Power Rankings (Oct. 14, 2020)

1. Seattle Seahawks (5-0, LW: No. 2): Somehow, the Seahawks pulled out a win on Sunday evening against the Minnesota Vikings. 

2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1, LW: No. 1): The Chiefs suffered their first setback since last November, which seems or sounds crazy, right? Maybe the loss was exactly what coach Andy Reid and his team needed. 

3. Green Bay Packers (4-0, LW: No. 3): The Packers were idle this past weekend, but they have looked pretty good through four weeks. This week, Green Bay will visit Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what should be a decent matchup. 

4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, LW: No. 4): Baltimore’s defense shined against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but the offense seems to be inconsistent. 

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0, LW: No. 6): The Steelers are really good at drafting receivers. 

6. Tennessee Titans (4-0, LW: No. 7): The Titans returned to the gridiron last night for the first time in a few weeks and looked really good. And we mean, really good! 

7. Buffalo Bills (4-1, LW: No. 5): Did the Bills come down to earth last night or are they still pretty good? 

8. Cleveland Browns (4-1, LW: No. 14): Something is different about this Browns team than previous years. Maybe this is finally the year the Browns officially turn the corner and establish a winning culture? 

9. New England Patriots (2-2, LW: No. 8): It’s been a chaotic past few days for the Patriots, but let’s hope things start going in the right direction, especially with today’s news about Cam Newton returning to the practice field tomorrow. 

10. Los Angeles Rams (4-1, LW: No. 11): The Rams returned to their original form from earlier this season with a runaway win over the Washington Football Team this past weekend. Their early season success should continue against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. 

11. New Orleans Saints (3-2, LW: No. 10): The Los Angeles Chargers did not make things easy for Drew Brees and the Saints on Monday in Louisiana.   

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2, LW: No. 9): Can someone please tell Tom Brady that there are four downs in football, not five! 

13. Carolina Panthers (3-2, LW: No. 16): After starting the season with back-to-back losses, the Panthers have bounced back with three-straight wins. Is it time to consider them a contender for the NFC South? 

14. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2, LW: No. 19): Whatever the Raiders did this past weekend against the Chiefs, they must do going forward. 

15. Chicago Bears (4-1, LW: No. 15): Did you know the Bears have won four of five contests this season? Are they flying under the radar with Nick Foles

16. San Francisco 49ers (2-3, LW: No. 13): Injuries are piling up and the 49ers are looking like a one-hit-wonder (in our minds!). 

17. Dallas Cowboys (2-3, LW: No. 17): The Cowboys secured the top spot in the NFC East last week with a much-needed divisional win over the New York Giants, but did lose Dak Prescott to a season-ending injury. Ouch! 

18. Indianapolis Colts (3-2, LW: No. 12): Maybe the three-game winning streak from the earlier this season was a fluke? 

19. Arizona Cardinals (3-2, LW: No. 18): The Cardinals have beaten the following teams: San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, and the Washington Football Team. And they have suffered setbacks to these teams: Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers. So, how good is this team? 

20. Miami Dolphins (2-3, LW: NR): The Dolphins came close to beating the Seahawks two weeks ago, but did score a much-needed win over the 49ers on Sunday. Is something cooking in South Beach that we don’t know about? 

On the Rise: Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles


Noontime’s Preseason Rankings (Aug. 4, 2020) 

Noontime’s Week One Power Rankings (Sept. 8, 2020) 

Noontime’s Week Two Power Rankings (Sept. 15, 2020) 

Noontime’s Week Four Power Rankings (Sept. 29, 2020) 

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, October 13, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to a very rainy Tuesday, everyone! 

It’s going to be a VERY rainy day here in Massachusetts so it is probably best for everyone to stay inside and watch Netflix, right? 

Let’s kick-start your day with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime,’ beginning with some news about Cam Newton and our hometown New England Patriots

As of now, it seems possible that Patriots fans could see Cam Newton on the field next Sunday when the Patriots host the Denver Broncos, but as the team’s head coach Bill Belichick noted during his weekly radio appearance with WEEI‘s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria, the veteran signal-caller “would have to go through medical clearance” before being allowed to rejoin his teammates on the practice field.   

Newton is one of four Patriots to have tested positive for the coronavirus, but according to a few reports this morning, including PatriotsWire, it seems likely that the 2015 National Football League (NFL) quarterback will be back in the huddle at some point this week, which should be considered good news for the Patriots. Additionally, fans should expect Stephon Gilmore back on the field, too – we certainly need his help on defense! 

Sticking with the football theme, the NFL will be testing players and coaches on game days, along with “some other employees of each team,” as noted in Kevin Seifert‘s piece on ESPN.com, which was posted late last night. Seifert also noted a few more tweaks to the league’s update Covid-19 protocols, which include everyone wearing masks during walk-through practices to coaches having to wear either masks or double-layered gaiters during games. 

Let’s switch gears to the Boston Red Sox, who will have the fourth pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft. The last time the Red Sox picked fourth in a draft was in 1967. 

Boston concluded its 60-game season with a 24-36 mark, which was good for a fifth-place finish in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles, who have previously occupied the last spot in the division in previous seasons, finished fourth this year with an overall record of 25-35. 

Did you know that two of six teams in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) were independently owned? And did you know one of those two independently owned teams happens to play in hour home state? 

Yep, the Boston Pride, which recorded the best record last year and also secured a spot in the Isobel Cup, is one of the two teams that independently owned – it appears their setup will be the model for the league’s six teams going forward, according to a recent report (and yes, story, too!) from the New York Times

And finally, make sure to read the latest Boston Cannons legend spotlight on Sean Morris, who played locally at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) before becoming a star of the local Major League Lacrosse (MLL) franchise. It’s a great read!